Alphacool carries special-size radiators in their arsenal of the radiators including the highest-end NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm SuperNova radiator. Alphacool has a variety of radiators in the NexXxoS series. They cover enterprise-grade solutions including server cooling as well as consumer-grade solutions. For that, they have provided radiators in different sizes and materials which would cater to the requirement at hand. Alphacool has sent us this gigantic radiator for testing. The SuperNova 1260 (as we call it in short) has a surface area of 400x400x45mm and this behemoth can house either 9x 140mm fans or 4x200m fans or a combination thereof. Additionally, the user can buy fan grills for both sizes for push/pull configuration. The radiator has a less dense fin stack having an FPI count of 12. It has 3x G1/4” ports. The user would need to buy Alphacool universal radiator feet separately to be used on this radiator.
This radiator is listed at €199.98 at the time of the review.
Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm Radiator SuperNova Specifications
Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm Radiator SuperNova Packing and Unboxing
The radiator is shipped inside a larger size box (literally a large size box!). There is a picture of the radiator with a 140mm fan grill on the front shown on the packing box.
The radiator is placed inside a bubble sheet. The screws etc are placed inside two black color containers. The product info page is also placed over the top.
Alphacool has also sent us a fan grill for 200mm fans separately. It is provided in a slim cardboard box. This is available separately for purchase.
The above picture shows the 200mm fan grill. The fan mounting space of 154mm is provided on this grill.
Additionally, a separate 140mm fan grill is provided by Alphacool. This is available separately for purchase.
The above picture shows the 140mm fan grill. It has standard 140mm mounting holes.
Alphacool has provided 40x M3x30mm screws. These are non-Philips designs. There is an Allen key and a G1/4” port plug provided as well. I would love to see standard Philips screws.
Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm Radiator SuperNova Closer Look
It is time to take a closer look at the radiator. Alphacool has mentioned, “Big, Bigger, SuperNova”. They are damn right about it as this gigantic size radiator is like nothing else. Of course, there is MORA from other manufacturers but speaking strictly in terms of Alphacool’s radiators, no other radiator comes close to SuperNova.
The radiator has a dimension of 441x422x48mm. It has a weight of 4225g. The housing of the radiator is made of steel material whereas the fins, channels, and pre-chamber are all made of copper material. The radiator is tested for 0.8 bar pressure.
The above picture shows the front side of the radiator which has a 140mm fan grill pre-installed. There are 4x small-size screws securing this grill on the housing. There is a gap of roughly 7mm between the grill and the fins. This is of important consideration since the tips of the screws cross the fans and the grill. This gap of 7mm ensures that those tips don’t make contact with the fins to avoid damaging them. We have measured the exposed portion of the threads on the screws which roughly comes to 3mm. Alphacool was clearly ahead of the game when looking at the safety of the radiator.
The user has the option to install 9x 140mm fans on this grill. Please note that you would need to remove those 4x small-size screws when installing the fans on the grill.
The above picture shows the opposite side of the radiator. It has a 200mm fan grill pre-installed on the housing. The user can install 4x 200mm fans on this grill. However, there is no need to remove the 4x small-size screws which are securing this grill on the housing.
One observation that we made during the installation of the fans is that the provided M3x30mm screws cater to 25mm thick fans. However, the fans we have used are Noctua NF-A20 PWM chromax.black.swap which has a thickness of 30mm. The provided M3x30mm screws don’t have sufficient length to install 30mm thick fans on this radiator. We ended up using long screws from Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 360mm radiator. Had we not had that radiator, we would not be able to install the 30mm thick 200mm fans on this radiator. The same would apply to the 140mm fans. If you are going to use 30mm thick 140mm fans (just saying) then you would need at-least M3x32mm size screws to install such thickness fans.
There are 2x G1/4” ports as shown in the picture. These are to be used as Inlet and Outlet ports on this radiator. From this chamber look, it looks like Alphacool has used 3x 360mm radiators which is not the case. There are rubber made plugs on these ports which would need to be removed during the installation.
The far side chamber has a single G1/4” port. The user can set this port as a fill port or drain port. The user can also install a temperature sensor on this port which is obviously optional. Or the user can simply put on the provided G1/4” port plug on this port as we did.
The above picture shows the top view of the radiator. The metallic black color frame has Alpahcool branding on one side.
The above picture shows the fins and channels of the radiator after removing the grills from both ends. This radiator has a surface area of a whopping 400x400x45mm. Alphacool has designed the fin stack by keeping the fins per inch count to 12 FPI. This would ensure that airflow is unobstructed most of the time. Having such a lower count also means that we would not need high static pressure-rated fans. Though this is up to the users to decide which fans they would opt. Alphacool is also using serration on the fans to ensure optimal airflow through the fins. These serrations are like tiny flaps to guide the airflow in a direction. In the case of radiators, they are barely 1 mm high, but still provide controlled air turbulence to increase cooling capacity and minimize airflow noise.
The above picture shows a close-up view of the radiator. Alphacool has done a good job here.
The borders of the frame have mounting holes. There is a protective metallic plate under the borderline. This is there to prevent the screws from going into the fins to avoid damage.
The above pictures show the SuperNova 1260 with both types of fan grills standing on their own. We would recommend the user buy feet for this radiator to prevent the radiator from falling accidentally.
Test Loop Configuration and setup
We wanted to set up a modular loop that would require minimum handling and easy swapping of components including the radiators since multiple-size fans are to be tested. This was achieved using Quick Disconnect fittings in the following configuration:
- Quick Disconnection between the CPU Water Block and the Pump/Reservoir Combo
- Quick Disconnection between the CPU Water Block and the Radiator
- Quick Disconnection between the Radiator and the Pump/Radiator Combo
CPU Water Block
We have used the premium water block from Alphacool which is Eisblock XPX AURORA PRO Digital RGB – Full Brass. You can check it out in the dedicated content by clicking here.
We have used the Alphacool EISBECHER D5 AURORA ACETAL/GLASS 250ml reservoir with VPP APEX pump.
We have used Alphacool black TPV tubes and 16/10mm compression fittings along with quick disconnect fittings. Additionally, the Alphacool Eiszpfen Temperature Sensor G1/4 IG/IG to AG adapter is used which is a 10KOhm sensor to record the temperature of the coolant. The 2-pin connector was attached to the 2-pin sensor on the motherboard.
For 140mm size, we have used Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans sponsored by Noctua. The above pictures show these fans installed on the radiator and in action. A flat cable design would suit better on this particular radiator.
For 200mm size, Noctua provided us the NF-A20 PWM chromax.black.swap fans. The above pictures show these fans installed on the radiator and in action.
Salient specifications of the fans are:
|Speed||1500 RPM (±10%)||800 RPM (±10%)|
|Airflow||140.2 m³/h||146.9 m³/h|
|Noise||24.6 dB(A)||18.1 dB(A)|
|Static Pressure||2.08 mmH₂O||1.08 mmH₂O|
|Input Power||1.56 W||0.96 W|
|Input Current||0.13 A||0.08 A|
|Operating Voltage||12 V||12 V|
|MTTF||> 150,000||> 150,000|
The above pictures show the assembled system and loop configuration.
The following test configuration is used: –
- Intel i7 12700k
- GIGABYTE Z690 AERO G
- XPG LANCER RGB 32GB @ 6000MHz DDR5
- GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 VISION OC Rev.2
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB NVMe SSD
- bequiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum PSU
- Praxis Wetbench
|Clock (MHz)||5000 P-Cores, 4000 E-Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||5100 P-Cores, 4000 E-Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||5200 P-Cores, 4100 E-Cores|
|Thermal Paste||Alphacool Subzero|
|Thermal Paste Application||Dot Method in the center.|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes|
|Idling Time||10 minutes|
|Fan Speed||50% and 100% PWM Duty Cycle|
|Pump Speed||Full speed through Molex connector|
|Software||CINEBENCH R23 Multi and HWInfo64|
|O.S||Microsoft Windows 11 22H2|
We have used Alphacool Subzero thermal paste for testing. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis. The fans were connected to the NZXT FAN Controller and were set to run at full speed and 50% PWM duty cycle. The pump was running at full speed as well. Cinebench R23 is sued to stress test the CPU and HWInfo64 are used to monitor the sensors.
Outstanding performance is obvious from the graph. Also, the 140mm fans are giving a better performance than the 200mm fans. At 50% speed, the 140mm fans were dead silent whereas the 200m and the 140mm fans at full speed are audible. The SuperNova 1260 has enabled us to achieve what was not possible before as we could only hit 4.8GHz on P-Cores using regular AIOs. Any attempt at further overclocking would result in temperatures sitting in the upper 90s.
The AM5 test result can be seen in our content of Alphacool Eisblock XPX AURORA EDGE Digital RGB – Full Brass.
Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm Radiator SuperNova Conclusion
The most commonly used radiator in the DIY kits and custom loop is 240/280/ and 360mm in size. Then there are 420mm, and 480mm sizes though with bigger size radiators, the compatibility and clearance get limited subject to the PC Case. There are also 200mm and 400mm size radiators now available. Then there are special-size radiators. The one we are talking about is the Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm SuperNova radiator. This is an external radiator suitable for overclockers, enthusiasts, and for open-air systems. The PC Cases with two cutouts to route tubes can also utilize this radiator. This radiator is 1260mm in size (9x140mm). The user can install 9x 140mm fans or 4x 200mm fans on this radiator. Push/pull setup in 140mm and 200mm is possible out of the box whereas the user will have to buy the fan grill in the desired size for the same size push/pull setup.
The radiator has a dimension of 441x422x48mm. It has a weight of 4225g. The housing of the radiator is made of steel material whereas the fins, channels, and pre-chamber are all made of copper material. The radiator is tested for 0.8 bar pressure. This radiator has 3x G1/4” ports. Two of these ports are on one side and are required to be set up as inlet and outlet ports. The third port can be used to set up a drain or refill port. Alternatively, a temperature sensor fitting can be used on that port or the user can simply close it with the provided G1/4” stop plug.
The radiator has a surface area of 400x400x45mm. Alphacool has designed the fins assembly with a 12 FPI (Fins per Inch) count. This would mean there will be no obstruction to the airflow and generally, we can use regular static pressure fans on such radiators. Also, Alphacool is using serration on the fans to ensure optimal airflow through the fins. These serrations are barely 1mm and act like tiny flaps to guide the airflow in a direction. The user can use this radiator in a passive cooling configuration for which Alphacool has suggested removing both fan grills.
This radiator comes with two fan grills pre-installed. One grill is for the 200mm size fans and the other is for the 140mm size fans. Alphacool has provided M3x30mm screws (40x) for the fans. The tips of these screws extend toward the fin stack. As per our measurement, there is a gap of roughly 7mm between the fan grill and the fins. The extended threaded portion of the screws measures roughly 3mm or so. Alphacool has wisely designed the layout to prevent any damage. This protection is further enhanced by a provision of protective plating across the frame border to prevent the screws from damaging the fins.
The provided M3x30mm screws would suffice for 25mm or 27mm thick fans but for 30mm thick fans, these screws fall short of a length. We experienced that during the installation of the Noctua NF-A20 PWM chromax.black.swap fans. These fans have a height or thickness of 30mm and we were not able to use the provided M3x30mm fans. We ended up using the longer threaded screws from our inventory. Take it as a caution if you may! Also, the user would be required to buy radiator feet for better placement of this gigantic radiator. Alphacool has provided an Allen key as the M3x30mm screws are not Philips. There is a stop plug as well.
The Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 1260mm SuperNova Radiator is listed at €199.98 at the time of the review. Alphacool is offering a 2-year of warranty on this radiator. The saying of Big, Bigger, and SuperNova! holds fast on this radiator as we have seen the impressive cooling performance on AM5 and LGA1700 sockets. This radiator has worked wonders for overclocking the chips which were never achieved before. Check our testing section for the result. One can have the absolute best noise-to-performance ratio using this radiator with some good fans. No wonder this product has won our Must Have award.
What’s next? I would love to see a new iteration of this size radiator in probably the HPE series and in 60mm thickness with the provision of mounting clips or hardware on the frame of the radiator for the reservoir. If some cable management and integration can be provided on the frame, it would be an added advantage. Like a single fan hub with only one long cable coming out of it (60~80cm).
Thanks to Alphacool for the provision of the test unit. Special thanks to Noctua for the provision of the fans.
Want to see more radiator cooling performance? CLICK HERE